Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Bankers Hit Hill at Critical Moment: At ABA's Washington Summit, Bankers Listen and Make Their Case

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Bankers Hit Hill at Critical Moment: At ABA's Washington Summit, Bankers Listen and Make Their Case

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

You could have run a small town off the electricity in the air at ABA's Government Relations Summit last month. For two days the Renaissance Washington Hotel buzzed with excited tension as nearly 1,000 bankers convened for the annual gathering.

Chris Dodd (D. Conn.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, had introduced his 1,300-page regulatory reform bill just two days before.

Led by the CEOs of their state bankers associations, delegations of bankers headed up to Capitol Hill the first day of the meeting to call on their representatives and senators. The looming health care vote was the dominant topic on the Hill, but bankers reported that many of their members were quite engaged in the debate over financial reform, which was expected to be taken up quickly once Congress reconvenes in mid-April.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D.-Md.)--one of several high-ranking members of Congress to speak at the Summit--said he believed regulatory reform will pass the Senate and that a reconciled bill would go to the President in early October. He urged bankers to convey their ideas to their members, especially as to what the mechanism ought to be for protecting consumer interests, because "a majority in Congress believes we need a consumer protection mechanism. …

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